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Building Better Customer Connections

How Jittery Joe’s Coffee is using CRM tools to understand and communicate with their audience while keeping their eyes on expansion.

Michael Ripps and Bob Googe chatting while sitting on bags of coffee beans.

When it comes to successful growth and expansion for small businesses, building long-lasting customer relationships is crucial. For Athens, Georgia-based Jittery Joe’s Coffee, taking on that challenge while going from local to national wouldn’t have been possible without the right resources. The What’s in Store crew visited the business’s main roasting facility to find out how they’re using our customer relationship management (CRM) tools to spur development in the right direction without losing track of their audience.

Growing with their customers

With the brand growing to 12 locations in Athens alone, expansion was inevitable, says Co-Owner Michael Ripps. When Michael and his fellow Co-Owner Bob Googe took over the business, they wanted grow the brand beyond Athens, which would involve finding new customers without losing their original college-town audience. That led them to finding new homes as nearby as Tennessee and as far away as Japan.

“People retain, even when they leave Athens, a connection to our city,” Michael says. “While our base has and will stay strong from a local perspective, we are continuing to grow as our customers and our fans have moved.”

“Ultimately, it’s getting to know our customer. Mailchimp’s tools and platform allow us to get closer and understand what they want.”

-Michael Ripps, Co-Owner Jittery Joe's

But while expansion is the goal, Bob says, their customers may not realize they can get Jittery Joe’s coffee delivered right to their door no matter where they are. The team even introduced an online monthly subscription service to reach their audience as they graduate and move on from Athens. Because they can’t physically be where the audience is all the time, the team has to get resourceful.

Coffee beans being processed at Jittery Joe's.
Different faces put together doodle.

1. Work from a primary list.

When it comes to how they’re working to get a more clear understanding of their audience, Michael says everything starts and ends with the team’s primary subscriber list (which got a boost from custom signup forms). They then segment their list by applying tags to their contacts to keep them organized. The tags are labels tied to contacts’ interests such as high-level roast releases, the monthly subscription program, or fans of bands tied to their Coffee Music Series.

“We have tagged segments that are based on specific product interests,” Michael says. “These tagged segments allow us to re-engage these customers based on their interests with reminders and promotions aimed specifically towards their tastes.”

Doodle of two birds dancing.

2. Use tools in tandem.

Making these informed decisions on Jittery Joe’s audience comes from using reports to track their campaign performance. However, the team takes it a step further by combining reports with their Shopify integration, allowing them to see if their efforts are profitable.

“We can now see how our message is resonating with our customers in dollar amounts,” Michael says. “We can also see what other products people are purchasing through our emails that might not have been highlighted, and that helps us see what particular blend or varietal might have a strong draw beyond our promotion.”

Illustration of a woman and cat holding hands.

3. Retain that personal touch.

With real-time data on their customers’ interests and spending behavior, Michael and Bob can turn the information into more personalized messaging geared toward expansion without losing track of why their audiences—new and old—love their brand.

“Ultimately, it’s getting to know our customer,” Michael says. “Mailchimp’s tools and platform allow us to get closer and understand what they want.”

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